Starting off 2022 with challenges, not so new challenges, challenges that resemble last year and the year before that’s challenges. We appeared be over the hump, looking forward to the holidays, seeing loved ones and celebrating together when Omicron hit.

Oh well, I must accept that life is struggle. And joy and sorrow. It still beats the alternative. Most everyone is on the verge of exhaustion but hoping to move past the uncertainty, stagnation and fear of life with Covid. My only strategy is to keep holding fast. What alternative is there? “The only way out is through.”

I’m dealing with some serious financial setbacks as well, so compiled a list of income-generating possibilities, including my Etsy store where I managed to make a little dough selling off a few rare zines. Need to figure out how to lower shipping costs, also on the list.

Somewhat fortuitously I’m participating in a panel on Women in Punk Rock hosted by the Polygon Gallery. Here’s the lowdown, perhaps you can join us on Saturday, Jan 15 at 3 pm, PST.  “Inspired by our OG Punk exhibition, please join us for a live online conversation with four remarkable women who were key figures in the Vancouver punk and indie music scene, and went on to produce other forms of music and creative endeavours. The informal discussion moderated by Sook-Yin Lee, a member of the 80s Vancouver band Bob’s Your Uncle, who is a filmmaker, musician, actor, multimedia artist, and award-winning radio and TV broadcaster She will be joined by Jade Blade, a member of The Dishrags, Vancouver’s all-female punk band of the late 1970s who now teaches art history and visual studies; Heather Haley of the all-female Zellots band fame who is a musician, novelist and poet; and Vanessa Richards, member of the 1980s all-female rock band, Bolero Lava, who works in music, film, television, and arts-based engagements.”

Conversation will take place via Zoom. Register here: https://thepolygon.ca/…/online-conversation-vancouver…




I’m stuck! It’s a long and arduous process but I’ve been archiving my archives which include thousands of photographs and memorabilia in a vast array of formats and media. I’m nearly half-way through one box. *sigh* Oh well, the only way out is through. I’m going to sell off some rare zines and flyers. My main impetus is not burdening my son with all my crap when I go. Like a fool I thought I’d have the task completed by the end of this year. I’m no hoarder but astounded at the volume of things I’ve held onto despite many moves over the years. Oh well, I can only keep chipping away on evenings and weekends as I need to get back to writing and working. Another challenge is nostalgia, even melancholy. Excavating my past forces me to consider the choices and decisions I’ve made. This is how I wound up here. Living in Vancouver with my son, boyfriend and posse of friends nearby isn’t such a bad fate.

Took a little side trip down Memory Lane yesterday as I came across the one and only issue of “Generation” magazine, circa 1983 published by BYO, Better Youth Organization. I was a contributing editor and wrote an article about LA’s after hours club circuit. Jim Barnett reviewed a Black Flag reunion show featuring all current and past vocalists except Keith Morris who didn’t show up. “Instead, Merrill from Overkill ran onstage dressed as Keith, screaming, ‘I could have been in this band,’ until Dez hit him in the face with a pie. Ron Reyes took over next singing stirring versions of ‘No Values,’ ‘Wasted’ and several other hits from the early era.”

Ah, my misspent youth, one of the wildest, best times of my life.



More heavy rain, thinking of everyone in BC affected by flooding. I pray, in my devout atheist fashion for them. Speaking of victims, this Sharon Olds poem brings to mind my sisters and our upbringing. My take; it’s about family, the “Senior Officers,” parents. Ours should have been indicted. I suppose they were until we summoned forgiveness, though middle daughter never could, far as I can tell. The home front was a war zone and impotent rage is the worse kind for it is painfully infuriating. As children, we had no way to defend ourselves and a school picture is worth zero words.



In the hallway above the pit of the stairwell
my sister and I would meet at night,
eyes and hair dark, bodies
like twins in the dark. We did not talk of
the two who had brought us there, like generals,
for their own reasons. We sat, buddies
in wartime, her living body the proof of
my living body, our backs to the vast
shell hole of the stairs, down which
we would have to go, knowing nothing
but what we had learned there,
so that now
when I think of my sister, the holes of the needles
in her hips and in the creases of her elbows,
and the marks from the latest husband’s beatings,
and the scars of the operations, I feel the
rage of a soldier standing over the body of
someone sent to the front lines
without training
or a weapon.



Been so busy I’ve been neglecting my site/blog; find nearly a hundred spam messages upon returning. Apparently I can learn how to trim my dog’s nails, make a fortune with passive income/cryptocurrency, acquire free advertising on Google, buy a super backpack or team up with a group of highly qualified ethical hackers for a small fee of $1500. Thanks but this poet has no time for anything other than toiling away in a vacuum, struggling to be relevant. Enclosed please find a work-in-progress.

Speaking of damage, my heart goes out to fellow British Columbians devastated by recent flooding and landslides. All those towns are significant, having had the opportunity to travel most of this incredible province. And fuck you, climate change deniers.

To be delineated at a later date

My poor little infant head
wedged between bed and dresser,
wailing unheard above the thunder
by parents beneath the clothesline.
Perpetual white bolt, mark of Thor
between my brows,
the price of fresh flannel sheets.

Routinely bashed, walloped.
Luminous prairie day,
blindly chasing a baby Lab
until slamming into a thicket
of wooden oil drum stand,
eight-year-old brains
nearly knocked clear out of my skull,
enough sense retained to instruct
the hysteric through bloody irises.
“Mom, call Jerry. Mom, call Jerry
next door. He can take me to the doctor.”

Scrub. Me. The game.
Left knee gashed while sliding
into second base,
concealed broken pop bottle
on a baseball diamond
roughly hewn from fields of grass.
No pain but I glanced down,
leg scarlet, cried realizing the terrifying injury
and snuck into the house to apply first aid.

Braids yanked,
knuckles rapped via metal edged ruler.
Ambushed on the playground,
stabbed in the arm with an HB pencil,
hard head bonked with a soft ball,
pelted with rocks, conked,
welted with spiky horse chestnuts.

Near fatal car accident No 1.
Flinty rain slicked Fraser Valley road,
newly licenced boyfriend lost to the wheel,
Plymouth Duster grill colliding
with lone elm within an infinite pasture,
six bodies thrown and sundry broken bones.

The Slits at Temple Beautiful, San Francisco.
Eschewing a lengthy Ladies Room queue
to pee behind a bush
in the Roman Catholic church yard next door.
Poised atop a towering wrought iron fence,
certain I was quicksilver,
leapt off into into the dusk,
right knee suddenly meeting blunt concrete.
So clever. Damn thing still goes out on me.

Burgled. Pursued by armed robber.
Gang bangers.
Spurned; lovers, impotent A&R guys.
Destitute. Chased down a fluttering Lincoln
faced 5-dollar bill. Got to eat that day.
Best hot dog ever.
Six-year marriage, strung out on cocaine.
Routinely throttled, slapped.
Cracked ribs. Riots.
Escape north. Homeland.

Near fatal car accident No 2.
Harrowing close call,
buzzed by a spring-fevered motorcyclist.
Deeply upside down in a trench on the S-curve.
Precious son and I survived
his scratches, my separated shoulder.
To be continued, fates willing.

Bragging Rights-My Son the Influencer

First blog post in a long time. I’m over the hump with my move, just need to hang pictures. I’m much happier in my new space so the stress and upheaval was worth it.  And with this post this proud mama wants to say I got to spend a pleasant evening of lively conversation with my precious October baby and his dear friend J. All those years of wading through fear and confusion, seeking and finding appropriate interventions ultimately capitalized on his strengths despite a diagnosis of autism. This is the latest video from RAYCEVICK’s highly successful YouTube channel. He’s converted his passion for gaming into an occupation. Half a million subscribers but I’m equally proud of his knowledge of culture, history and politics and relish our scintillating conversations.



The life force and the pandemic persist. We abide. Endure this volatile time of anti-vaxxer protests holding up hospitals and a fourth wave. I think of the future, my son, my one and only precious offspring and wonder what I’ve gotten him into. At 27 he is in no hurry to settle down and have children. Certainly I don’t blame him. I was so ambivalent about the decision that I didn’t give birth until the last possible minute. A good decision, it turns out. He will never be one of my regrets. I do suffer grandma envy though. Who knows. The future is unwritten. Apparently I must write about it. And as uncertain as it is, can only speculate.



Shall I presume my descendants
will not know my name?
Shall I presume
my descendants will not care?
I care about my grandmother
though I never knew her.
Do I know her mother’s name?
That could be a short bloodline.

Our descendants are busily alive,
some having served in Afghanistan
immediately after breast stroking
through university, its Olympic sized pools.

Several are currently detained in China,
suspended within an excruciating wait
for “quiet diplomacy” to kick in,
while others populate
pandemic frontlines in hot spots
India, Brazil and the U.S.

This is no time to cry.
There is no time to collapse
though we must seek stress relief
and quality sleep; eight hours
every night. Seven minimum.

We have birthed the same soldiers,
priests, evangelists, titans,
police and politicians
every other generation conceived.

Perhaps our influencers,
media personalities and content creators
can save Mother Earth.
I suppose that qualifies as hope.

Is she still referred to as Mother Earth?
That’s what this sweet old orb
is to me and my generation,
the generation young folk
are relieved to see dying off,
for they are more
than mere descendants,
they are redeemers.

I hear the birth rate is slowing
in parts of the world.
Perhaps our descendants
are our mothers.
Know best.


Food is love.


Until Dex she’d thrived on conflict,
intrepid illusions and huge whacks.
After the previous Pan Man left
and took all the best knives

she’d cut off her hair,
roamed the earth,
concealed behind a balaclava;
fly fishing in Yosemite,

paddling beneath the borealis,
climbing Transylvanian Alps
and the stairs of Dracula’s castle,
nipperkin at the ready.

Long mane slowly returned,
warming her viper heart in the process.
Finally, reclaiming relevance
and the ability to deliver hearty meals,

the rest of her returned home as well,
where she bumped into Dex
tossing a hot salad.

pitted her olives
and scratched her back
according to their pact.
Two cooks can herd one another.

Neither can call it quits
or die in the weeds
no matter how heated
the moments or kitchens become.

With a shared fondness
for curry they taper toward
the holidays and their first Christmas,
a coastal Christmas.






Ah, the Internet, where anyone can express an opinion however vociferously. It makes one long for the days before virtuality. Trolls. And print. I still enjoy reading books and magazines and recently learned of Renaissance poet Laura Battiferri in an excellent article by art critic Peter Schjeldahl, whom I admire greatly.



“Art has many mansions,”
according to Peter Schjeldahl.
“Today the most compelling
tend to the tumbledown.”
I ponder “tumbledown”
and how it applies.
Are we to the point
where we ache for the past so badly,
we plaster on anything
vintage or gaudy?

Interrupted by a ding-
I forgot to turn off Notifications-
a comment from a supposed friend
taking umbrage with a quote I’d posted.
“In a sense we haven’t got an identity
until somebody tells our story.
The fiction makes us real.”-Robert Kroetsch.
DF: So Harry Potter is real? Lots of books
about him. How about Spiderman?
Ask a 10-year-old. Both are pretty fucking
real to that crowd.

DF: Huh?
No doubt Kroetch meant “real” figuratively.
DF employs the word, “bullshit.”
It’s vital to explain my folly, prove his point.
Troll. I don’t type “troll.”
I may curse like a laid-off oil rig worker
but refrain from further verbal engagement,
employ the Block option.
I can live without winning,
will take my triumphs elsewhere,
return to the New Yorker
and Schjeldahl’s The Medici at the Met
to marvel.

Oh, he’s a poet as well as a critic,
according to Wikipedia.
The highest form of literature.
Explains his facility with language.
I highlight resonant phrases in yellow:
“…virtuosic artifice.”
Yes, feigning demands feigning well,
going for the gusto.
“…ornamenting a milieu of preening style
and often freewheeling Eros,”
a reference to the Medici state.

Helldogs. Vulgate.
I must use those!
“…accidently burlesque ways.”
I wish to employ “burlesque” thusly
but these days most people
associate the term with strippers
instead of its true meaning, “parody.”

I suspect that’s DF’s problem.
I dared to eschew
“…the golden circle of his regard.”


Not me but all the phenoms I’ve known. I moved to Los Angeles in 1980 with bandmates Brad, Karla and Randy and our hopes of fame and fortune. The 45s were to open for PIL at the Olympic Auditorium. It was a big deal but we broke up mere days before the event. Like a Lost Girl I wandered, first to San Francisco then New York before returning to the City of Angels where I resided until 1992. I pulled together an exceptional group of musicians to form Heather Haley & the Zellots. Jon Wrasse on guitar, Jeff Moses on rhythm guitar, Mark Francis White on drums and a revolving door of bassists. We acquired a studio, rehearsed and played gigs and developed a strong following, nominated Best Pop Group by the LA Weekly Music Awards. It was a wild ride! Often we’d hear that an A&R guy from some major label was going to be at one of our shows and often it went nowhere. Always a huge let down and I came to realize those dudes had no power at all though they exploited the illusion.  I also realized my shot at the brass ring was diminishing as I got older. This is Hollywood after all. I slipped into a downward spiral of drug and alcohol abuse, unable to see my behaviour was a consequence of feelings of failure, how it provided an escape from pressure. When I went down there I had no doubt I would become a rock star. Ah, the hubris of youth.  I often joke, “I could write a book about it. Wait, I did write a book about it!” My “incendiary” novel, “The Town Slut’s Daughter” depicts the perils of the music industry from a female point of view.  Yes, I can joke about it. Human beings are resilient and c’est la vie.  I found the North Star, survived and adapted other modes of being while continuing to write about the experience in poems like this. (A rough, first draft.)


Swoon worthy.
Some rock stars are.
Some rock stars never get old.
Others never die.

Photography came to canonize,
characterize mannerisms,
exalt sin, hips,
the vulgate that is dance.

Photographers subjectify sassy,
singers swallowing microphones,
virtuosic strummers riding bareback,
commanding drummers commanding
from their fort-kits.

Some rocks stars are regal
despite tiny stages. Taunts.
Their facility dazzles.
Essentially lost, rock stars
are trip takers.
of song and snowberry clearwings.
of the lyric.
unearthing a distinct call,
inimitable inflections,
a new primitive narrative,
turning the inward outward.

The hard part; keeping it,
in spite of thieves and saboteurs,
in spite of despotic CEOs,
in spite of The Road,
dry states, dead-eye
melt downs and plank walks.

Hard to hold fast in spite
of blinding lights,
deafening volume,
dizzying flights,
the series of lavish homes
and incessant swooning.
Phenoms must find the North Star
in spite of all the din.









Dammit. Writing about my mother again. That’s her-Corona- in the middle. I’ve always thought we looked entirely unalike but can see a resemblance in this photo taken back in the days of ashtrays and doilies. Our memory plays tricks but there are clues. The place is Winnipeg on the occasion of my sister Donna’s baptism. I remember these lovely Anishinabe women, wish I could recall their names. As the poem states, my gregarious mother had few friends as we never stayed in one place for more than a few years. We appear well-cared for. She loved to do our hair and dress us up. This was early in her marriage. My mother could be tender, but mostly, tough. She had to be.



In front of me. That I recall. She cried
for her best hen-party gal pal Sharon.
The pair often cackled together.
Mom had few friends, we moved so often

and Sharon was instantly a sister sort.
My sweet, six year old bum
was on the middle swing
when Mom emerged from the house,

apron clad, perpetual tea towel
resting on her shoulder,
which came in handy as you will see.
Sadness brought out the nurse in her,

sadness aroused tenderness.
Memory evaluations can be dodgy,
so many lost but his one remains.
Weeping, she handed over half an apple.

I looked down.
A tear plashed onto the snowy flesh.
Mine. Mom, why are you crying?
At last, she told me.

Sharon died in a car crash.
Is there a more banal fate
than dying in a car crash?
I’ve nearly died in a car crash

on three occasions.
What kind of fool am I?
A practically-raised-in-a-car fool.
Car rides equalled happiness;

new shoes or a hike in the woods,
laughing all the way.
She dried my cheeks
with the perpetual tea towel.

Toward the end my mother cried
more than cackled
and there was never a tea towel handy.
Not so perpetual after all.